The Life of shakespeare Christian Bowen. Period 5

The Life of Shakespeare

Thesis: Shakespeare made an impact on the world coming from his background, literary work on Modern English, and his contributions to theatre.

Shakespeare’s Background:

Quote 1: "We know that William was born the third of eight children around April 23, 1564, in Stratford, a market town about one hundred miles northwest of London."(Anderson 1) William had a lot of influence from his siblings, but went on to prove himself as the smartest. His birth town, Stratford, was full of literature and helped Shakespeare grow to enjoy literature and playwrights.

Quote 2: "William attended grammar school, where he studied Latin grammar, Latin literature, and rhetoric... As far as we know, he had no further formal education." "At the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than he was. Sometime after the birth of their second and third children (twins), Shakespeare moved to London, apparently leaving his family in Stratford."(Anderson1-2) William received a very basic education, much less than the average American receives today. He attained a passion for literature/english during his few years of studying in grammar school. It is still unconfirmed why Shakespeare left his family for London.

Quote 3: "Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, at the age of fifty-two. He is buried under the old stone floor in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. Carved over his grave is the following verse..:Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, To dig the dust enclosed here! Blessed be the man that spares these stones. And cursed be he that moves my bones." It is unknown that Shakespeare wrote that himself, but no one has dared to touch his grave. The cause of Shakespeare’s death is also unknown.

Theatre: First Theater

Quote 1: "In 1599, Burbage's theater was torn down and its timbers were used by Shakespeare and his company to build the Globe Theater. This was the theater for which Shakespeare wrote most of his plays."(Anderson 1) After James Burbage's theater was torn down, it gave Shakespeare an opportunity to build his first theater where would be the acting grounds of his many plays. This housed many of Shakespeare’s plays which made him a success. Many gathered around the theater to view the amazing work of Shakespeare.

Quote 2: "The interplay of culture and society in Shakespeare's day created the conditions in which his genius could flourish. In Elizabethan England, culture shaped society, and society provided the operative context for culture, to such an extent that it might be almost meaningless to attempt to separate the two. In the end, it was the cultural genius of Elizabethan society that might be its most enduring achievement."(Medici 1). The Elizabethan Society helped Shakespeare's work flourish. The culture and context is what made William famous in that day of age. Without Elizabeth’s influence of literature, Shakespeare would not have the same influence and possibly may not be as well known in the playwright world.

Quote 3: "Shakespeare's dramatic works generally are considered in terms of genre—comedy, history, tragedy, and romance—a system that offers a sort of basic manageability of his vast oeuvre. Yet even within these categories, it is almost impossible to select examples of what may be considered representative works, especially as there exists no definitive generic categorization and, in some cases, even the terms themselves fall under critical dispute. For instance, both The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream are technically comedies, but the plays are as different as the roles of woman, lover, and wife are in the characters of Kate and Titania. Still, the Padua and Athens of these plays, respectively, are equally and unmistakably Shakespearean, for the themes of love, infatuation, courtship, and rejection that underlie these plays are flexible to the poet's insight and wit. A consideration of the tragedies provides an even more striking testament to Shakespeare's dramatic diversity."(Kim 1) Shakespeare's dramatic works have many genres. One cannot categorize Shakespeare's plays, because they are so full and diverse.

Work of Poems

Quote 1: "His first poems. From mid-1592 to 1594, London authorities frequently closed the theaters because of repeated outbreaks of plague. Without the income provided by acting and playwriting, Shakespeare turned to poetry. In 1593, Venus and Adonis became the first of Shakespeare’s works to be published. The publisher was Richard Field, a native of Stratford who may have known Shakespeare in childhood. As was customary at the time, Shakespeare dedicated his volume to a noble patron, in this case Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton. Venus and Adonis proved to be extremely popular and was reprinted at least 15 times in Shakespeare’s lifetime."(Lander 1). When theaters were closed, Shakespeare had no way of making income. Shakespeare turned to poetry. He made a popular poem, " Venus and Adonis" which was reprinted over 15 times.

Quote 2: "Shakespeare has had enormous influence on culture throughout the world. His works have helped shape the literature of all English-speaking countries. His work has also had an important effect on the literary cultures of such countries as Germany and Russia. In addition, his widespread presence in popular culture extends to motion pictures, television, cartoons, and even songs.” “Shakespeare's characters, language, and stories are a source of inspiration, quotation, and imitation. Many words and phrases that first appeared in his plays and poems have become part of our everyday speech. Examples include such common words as assassination , bump , eventful , go-between , gloomy , and lonely , as well as such familiar phrases as fair play , a forgone conclusion , and salad days."(Lander 1) Shakespeare had a big influence on culture throughout the world. His worked help shape English speaking countries. He helped shape and inspire literature. Many phrases and words are now part of our everyday speech.

Quote 3: "Many of Shakespeare's Sonnets are regarded as among his very finest work and they have stood the test of time. Throughout the centuries, they have meant many things to a great many people, different people from diverse backgrounds."(Baker 28). Shakespeare's sonnets were just as popular as his poems and plays. They had a significant effect on other people.

Quote 4: "Shakespeare was the ultimate professional writer. He had a theater that needed plays, actors who needed parts, and a family that needed to be fed.Romeo and Juliet was probably among the early plays that Shakespeare wrote, between 1594 and 1596. By 1612, when he returned to Stratford to live the life of a prosperous retired gentleman, Shakespeare had written thirty-seven plays, including such masterpieces as Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth."(Anderson 777) Shakespeare seems to clearly be the best writer. He had a theater, and created many popular plays during his time as a playwright. Shakespeare went on to retire with success.

Works Cited

Anderson, Robert. “Shakespeare and His Theater: A Perfect Match.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 778-80.

---. “William Shakespeare’s Life: A Genius from Stratford.” Holt Literature & Language Arts: Mastering the California Standards: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, by G. Kylene Beers et al., Austin, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2003, pp. 776-77.

Baker, William. William Shakespeare. London, New York, 2009. EBSCO eBook Collection,

Kim, Yoojin Grace. “The Human Drama in the Work of William Shakespeare.” In Bloom, Harold, ed. William Shakespeare, Bloom’s BioCritiques. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishing, 2002. Bloom’s Literature, Facts On File, Inc.

Lander, Jesse M. “Shakespeare, William.” World Book Student. World Book, 2016. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.

Medici, Anthony G. “Society and Culture in Shakespeare’s Day.” In Baker, William, and Kenneth Womack, eds. The Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2012. Bloom’s Literature, Facts On File, Inc.


Created with images by Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - ""Shakespeare"" • Ben Sutherland - "Front cover of William Shakespeare's First Folio" • Mike Licht, - "Romeo & Juliet Balcony Scene, based on a 1936 MGM photo" • zoonabar - "Shakespeare"

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